Background and HistoryBorn in Toronto, George Gardiner became a key figure in the city's financial sector during the middle of the 20th century. He and his wife, Helen, started collecting ceramics in the late 1970s. In 1984, the couple established a museum that was exclusively dedicated to ceramics from all over the world. This new entity was initially managed by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), which already had a well-established reputation in Canada's cultural scene. In 1996, Mr. Gardiner made generous financial contributions to the museum that he originally opened. After getting independence from the Royal Ontario Museum, the entity gained plenty of momentum on the local arts scene. George passed away just one year after making the donations to his museum. Between 2004 and 2006, the venue was renovated as part of a long-term plan for expansion. Specializing in modern architectural design, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg was hired for the renovation project. Approximately 14,000 sq feet of floor space was added to the building. Mrs. Gardiner passed away approximately three years after the renovated museum opened. Click to book your Toronto tours
Collection and ExhibitsThe Ancient Americas collection at the Gardiner Museum consists of artifacts that have been recovered from various parts of South and Central America. This gallery includes pottery and other items that are classified into the Andean, Mesoamerica, American Southwest and Intermediate Area. Traditional blue-and-white porcelain is on display at the Chinese and Japanese Ceramics gallery. French Delftware, Italian Maiolica and English Slipware are showcased in the European Earthenware section. This gallery highlights some of the items that typically decorated the elegant homes of elite families throughout Western and Northern Europe. Stoneware from Germany and Switzerland is also included in the European Earthenware collection. The museum has another exhibit space that's dedicated to European porcelain from the 18th and 19th centuries. Perfume scent bottles, kitchenware and other housewares with beautiful designs are featured in this collection. Some of the porcelain artifacts were produced in factories, and others were made by highly skilled artisans. The museum also has an extensive collection of Canadian and American ceramics that were made by artisans in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Facilities and AmenitiesAfter exploring ceramics at the Gardiner Museum, you could eat a delicious meal at the CLAY Restaurant. This contemporary eatery serves gourmet starters, entrees, pastas and other fresh dishes that are made from locally sourced ingredients. Red wine, white wine, beer and cocktails are also listed on the restaurant's spirits menu. You can also enjoy rich chocolate cake with warm tea from the dessert menu. Of course, the museum's gift shop has a large selection of ceramic items, including teapots, plates and decorative accessories. Jewelry, books and other handmade souvenirs are sold at the gift shop.
Visiting Gardiner MuseumThe Gardiner Museum is located near the intersection of Queens Park and Bloor Street in Downtown Toronto. You can take the TTC Subway Yonge-University Line to the Museum Station, which is located just steps away from the museum. The Bloor-Danforth Line stops at the Bay Station, which is situated only a few blocks away from the attraction. You can also hop on the TTC Route 300 bus that runs along Bloor Street and stops near major cultural and commercial destinations. An on-site parking lot isn't available, so you'll have to search for outdoor metered spaces and indoor paid parking garages near Queen's Park.
Location: 111 Queens Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2C7
Click here to visit Gardiner Museum official website.Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.